Weekly Industry Brief: 5.29.2018

Welcome back to work! Here is a recap of industry news from the last two weeks (yes, two weeks…you can stalk my Insta to know why I didn’t post last week!).  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • BJ’s Wholesale files for IPO. The Wall Street Journal
  • Urban Outfitters launches third-party marketplace and tests self-checkout in stores.  Marketing Dive 
  • Target’s first quarter store traffic highest in a decade.  AdAge
  • Netflix tops Disney market value as top media stock.  AdAge
  • Facebook, Google face first GDPR complaints over “forced consent.”  TechCrunch
  • Amazon made the top 10 of the Fortune 500 for the first time ever.  Quartz
  • Best Buy expands Geek Squad services with roll out of Total Tech Support.  Star Tribune
  • Ralph Lauren shares surge on designer’s vote of confidence in CEO.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon’s map-tracking package locator now offered to all US shoppers.  CNet
  • Gap leans on heavy discounts to clear store inventory.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Nordstrom wants brands to embrace the size spectrum.  Glossy
  • Matches Fashion saw sales climb a whopping 44% last year.  Fashionista
  • Urban Outfitters sees profits triple in first quarter. Seeking Alpha
  • Poshmark has officially distributed $1B to its sellers.  Fashionista
  • Walmart quietly launches JetBlack, a personal shopping service for affluent city moms.  Recode
  • With three new brands, Target takes aim at Generation Z.  Business of Fashion
  • Target cuts delivery fees by almost half, putting pressure on Walmart and Amazon.  USA Today  
  • The Real Real’s radical vision of secondhand luxury.  New Yorker 
  • How Ulta is winning in the age of Amazon.  Quartz
  • Next time you buy a TV at Best Buy, you may also be offered health care.  CNBC
  • How OPI is hacking Amazon and data algorithms to improve its online site.  Glossy

Marketing and Social Media

  • Why it’s primetime for Instagram Stories.  AdWeek
  • Paypal starts deeper integration with Google; users can now pay directly in Gmail, Youtube.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat launches first lens that responds to sound.  Engadget
  • A leaked look at Facebook’s influencer marketing search engine.  TechCrunch
  • Ikea’s witty social posts about the Royal Wedding.  AdAge
  • Instagram adds options to mute posts in your feed.  VentureBeat
  • How Lego infuses social media marketing with play.  CMO
  • L’Oreal films Chinese influencer marketing videos at Cannes.  SCMP
  • Ulta partners with Like to Know It.  Glossy
  • Publicis Groupe reveals much anticipated AI platform.  The Drum 
  • New Balance launches shoppable AR in Snapchat. MediaPost 
  • How Vans became the brand that can do no wrong.  High Snobiety
  • Victoria’s Secret has a plan to upgrade its image for younger women.  CNBC
  • Facebook Stories sees 150M users per day and will soon launch ads.  TechCrunch
  • YouTube Music subscription service to relaunch this week.  Seeking Alpha
  • Amazon Prime members now get 10% off at Whole Foods.  Fast Company 
  • Twitter looking to expand its programatic offerings with Timeline Ad Network pilot program.  MarketingLand

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Dog-sitting start-up, Rover, raises $155M.  TechCrunch
  • PayPal acquires European payments start-up iZettle for $2.2B.  The New York Times 
  • Kroger buys meal-kit start up Home Chef.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Why Nike’s AR experiment with Facebook Messenger was a hit.  MarTech Today
  • Your favorite stores could be tracking you with facial recognition. Racked
  • Why Nordstrom is betting on high-touch tech in stores.  Fortune
  • Adobe buys Magento for $1.7B.  Bloomberg
  • Target rolling out AR tools in stores to stay competitive in beauty.  Glossy
  • You’ll soon be able to use augmented reality to try on sneakers.  Quartz
  • Cult ‘fast-beauty’ brand Winky Lux raises $6M in Series A to fund experience-first retail plans.  Forbes

International 

  • Ikea pushes into South America.  Reuters
  • Starbucks to open 3,000 more stores in China.  CNN Money 
  • Amazon leads $12M investment in India-based digital insurance start-up.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon plans China event for global growth strategy.  SmartBrief
  • Meet the start-up building a market from scratch to become Africa’s Alibaba.  The Wall Street Journal
  • China may be about to cut import tariff on consumer goods from lipstick to food.  Fortune
  • Retailers’ global expansion cools as businesses get smart about opening new stores.  CNBC
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Weekly Industry Brief: 5.14.2018

TGIM (“Thank God It’s Monday”)! Here is your recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have an awesome week.

Brands and Retailers

  • Target testing a retail ‘flow center’ for faster, nimbler distribution.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Five more Nike executives out amid inquiry into harassment allegations.  The New York Times 
  • WalMart to start selling Harry’s razors.  Bloomberg
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills could be valued at $3B after minority stake acquisition.  CNBC
  • Why Nestle is paying $7.2B to sell Starbucks Coffee.  Fortune
  • Sears extends partnership with Amazon as transformation continues.  Retail Dive
  • Stadium Goods positioned itself as the Tiffany’s of the high-end sneaker resale market.  The New York Times
  • Amazon launches private label pet brand.  Retail Dive
  • Apple is reportedly working on a credit card.  Quartz
  • Handy wants to take care of the heavy lifting for furniture retailers.  Forbes
  • Canadian Tie to buy sportswear brand Helly Hansen in $770M deal.  Reuters
  • Shopify launching a brick-and-mortar store.  Forbes
  • Urban Outfitters experiments with pop-ups and artist collaborations.  Glossy
  • Marriott to compete with Airbnb in home-sharing game.  Fast Company
  • Mondelez buying Tate’s Bake Shop for $500M.  Fortune
  • How product customization is driving a new business strategy at Tapestry.  Glossy

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram adds video chat to its host of features.  The Drum
  • Brands can turn social video views into conversions.  PYMNTS
  • How social media issuing used to sell real estate.  AdWeek
  • Amazon stops buying shopping ads on Google. AdAge
  • Why beauty brands are shifting their focus from the feed to Instagram Stories.  Glossy
  • Why Revlon brought its digital marketing and sales organizations in-house.  Glossy
  • Snapchat’s redesigned redesign starts rolling out.  The Verge
  • Amazon, Snapchat could bring competition to Facebook and Google.  Digiday
  • Businesses on Instagram are getting calls to action, direct messaging improvements.  AdWeek
  • Instagram’s emoji slider sticker added a new element to polling friends and followers.  AdWeek
  • Facebook suspends 200 apps for potential misuse of data. AdAge
  • Bonobos looks to cash in on fashion’s inclusivity movement.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google’s Style Match feature applies image recognition to finding products.  Racked
  • What blockchain could mean for marketing.  Harvard Business Review
  • LVMH to invest in Lyst upon new round of funding.  Fashionista
  • Uber unveils the flying taxi it wants to rule the skies.  Wired
  • Amazon is setting up model ‘smart’ homes to sell Alexa gadgets.  New York Post
  • Blockchain used to track gems to counter blood diamonds and fakes.  Forbes
  • Google and Levi’s connected jacket will let you know when your Uber is here.  TechCrunch

International

  • Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar malls herald new growth strategy.  Nikkei
  • How Chinese consumer engage with luxury livestreamers.  Jing Daily

Weekly Industry Brief: 5.6.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of industry news from the last week. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Cheers!

Brands and Retailers

  • Online retailer Sense opens brick-and-mortar.  Glossy
  • Amazon studies body sizes to get that perfect clothing fit.  Wall Street Journal
  • Blue Apron turns to Costco as customer growth slows.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple has already built its next big business.  Fortune
  • Sale spikes continue for Estee Lauder.  WWD
  • Vitamins are trendy.  Vitamin stores are not.  Racked
  • Birchbox has sold majority ownership to one of its hedge fund investors after sale talks with QVC fell through.  Recode
  • Pandora and Spotify surprise investors.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon launches Prime Book Box, a $23 kids’ book selection.  TechCrunch
  • Nestle bets $7B on Starbucks to revive coffee sales.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon’s share of all retail sales could reach nearly 10% in two years.  CNBC
  • Online spending passes $100B for the first time.  RetailDive

Marketing and Social Media

  • Under Armour launches real-time Steph Curry trivia game.  Fast Company
  • Instagram is starting to take payments – but not for products just yet.  Fortune
  • Hulu surpasses 20M subscribers, grows engagement by over 60%.  The Drum
  • Snap stock plunges 15% on disappointing earnings that it partly blamed on redesign.  Fortune
  • Cambridge Analytica shuts all operations after Facebook scandal.  Fortune
  • Facebook is considering a paid, ad-free version of its social network.  Fast Company
  • Twitter advising all users to change passwords after bug exposed them in plain text.  The Verge
  • Facebook announces dating feature for meeting non-friends.   TechCrunch
  • Twitter shares spike after Disney announces it will make shows specifically for the platform.  CNBC
  • Instagram code reveals up-coming music feature.  TechCrunch
  • WhatsApp new lets you play Facebook and Instagram videos within the app.  The Verge
  • Microsoft and Amazon show off their Alexa-Cortana collaboration.  AdAge
  • Bonobos showcases 172 kinds of diversity in priciest campaign to date.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • J.P. Morgan files patent for blockchain powered payments.  Fortune
  • The $1B company that’s building wearable AI for blind people.  Fast Company
  • Macy’s acquires New York concept shop, Story.  CNBC
  • For all the hype about VR, advertisers are more excited by AR (for now).  Digiday
  • Oculus aims for the masses with a new $200 VR headset.  Fast Company
  • How beauty brands like Coty and Shiseido are using voice assistants.  Glossy
  • Goldman Sachs to open a bitcoin trading operation.  The New York Times

International

  • Walmart buys 75% share of Flipkart, India’s largest commerce platform.  AdWeek
  • Why Walmart and Amazon are battling so fiercely over India.  Fortune
  • Alibaba beats forecasts with 61% growth and predicts more of the same for the next year.  TechCrunch
  • Impulsive, addictive social commerce is China’s latest craze.  Business of Fashion